An Australian Christian charity is helping families get out of a cycle of debt servitude in Pakistan. Redeemer Ministries has paid the debts of 167 families forced into the generational slavery of brick kilns. It has also found them new jobs, accommodation, schools and a church. Co-founder Pastor Stephen Downie recently visited some of those families. “They invited me to go to a Friday night meeting. They didn’t tell me very much about it. It was in the open air. There were at least a couple of hundred people when I got there. They were singing Christian songs. And then I was told that every one of those people, adults and children, were all people who had been redeemed from the brick kilns.” It’s estimated at least two million people are indentured to brick kiln owners in Pakistan. They work 12-hour days, seven days a week. They have no holidays, sick leave or medical care. Adults and children must meet a daily quota of 1,500 bricks or go further in debt to the owners.

Some have been working in the kilns for 40-years. Neither the owners, the government, nor the Islamic religion have shown any interest in improving their welfare. Redeemer Ministries provides mobile medical vans to offer health care to the workers. Stephen was able to see them in operation: “I was taken to four medical camps which were just a very makeshift tent put up for a day. At every camp, there were at least 60 patients in a tent. I shook hands with them and asked them how they felt about the service. I was surprised and blessed by the number of people saying: “This is the only way we’re going to get any help for our medical needs. We now see what the Christians are doing. We’ve become Christians since this work began.” So I was blown away and thrilled by this testimony.” Redeemer Ministries also has a new program in the kilns to teach basic skills like reading, writing and sewing to 50 women at a time. In the first batch half of them became Christians.

Source: Vision Christian Media

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